The Ultimate 27-Point Dental Practice Acquisition Checklist

Buying a dental practice is complicated. There are so many ways to do it wrong. That’s why we’ve created this step-by-step checklist and filled it with expert insights.

Check out our ultimate guide to buying an existing practice; it makes an excellent companion to this checklist.

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What Is a Dental Practice Acquisition?

Dental practice acquisition provides an alternative to starting your own dental practice from scratch. You get to step into the driver’s seat of a practice that’s already in business and making money.

Going the startup route means beginning from square one. You scout locations, lease space, buy equipment, hire staff, and establish operations and systems. Then comes the tough part: attracting new patients from scratch without an existing reputation.

When you purchase an existing dental practice, you’re taking the fast track to owning your own thriving dental business. You step into a practice that already has existing patients, experienced staff, and smooth operations.

But here’s the catch: the purchase process itself is a beast. Valuation, financing, negotiations—one complex tangle of legal and financial snarls. Without know-how, you risk overpaying, misunderstanding tax implications, or buying something totally different than advertised. And saying “I do” to the wrong practice makes for an expensive divorce.

Attempting this solo leaves you stranded on Struggle Street. But with our team of industry experts at your side, your chances of a good practice acquisition go sky-high. We’ve done this dance; we guide you through due diligence, help you drive a fair bargain, guide you to securing the right financing, and ensure the smoothest transition into ownership.

The choice is yours: take the slow road or zip into the fast lane. Let us know if you’re ready to start scoping out practices so we can jumpstart your ownership journey.

The Only Dental Practice Purchase Checklist You Will Need

Buying a dental practice is not as simple as handing over a check. Take the following steps to set yourself up for success. Skipping important details can leave you blindsided down the road, so use this dental practice checklist to make your purchase smooth sailing.

Here’s the checklist:

    1. Identify practice type and financial abilities
    2. Pre-qualify with lenders
    3. Find a practice to buy
    4. Assemble a team of advisors
    5. Submit letter of intent (LOI) and negotiate terms
    6. Conduct thorough due diligence (financial, clinical, and operational)
    7. Obtain and scrutinize financial statements
    8. Have a formal valuation conducted
    9. Apply for financing with multiple lenders
    10. Tour office space and facilities
    11. Evaluate staff and create job descriptions
    12. Review patient records, production, and procedures
    13. Assess referral patterns and competition
    14. Finalize purchase agreement with attorney
    15. Vet all contracts and agreements
    16. Create proper entity structure
    17. Address permits, licenses, corporate documents
    18. Complete insurance and benefits paperwork
    19. Obtain necessary policies: liability, disability, life, etc.
    20. Complete insurance credentialing
    21. Develop transition plan
    22. Sign legal and banking documents
    23. Ensure working capital is accessible
    24. Notify patients and staff
    25. Implement marketing plan
    26. Train staff on roles, systems, and software
    27. Optimize location and facilities as needed

Let’s go into each of these points in more detail.

One: Identify Practice Type and Financial Abilities

Before you pursue a dental practice purchase, take time to identify your personal goals and honestly assess your financial abilities. Also, define the type of practice you want to purchase. This soul-searching will be the foundation for the next steps on the checklist.

Before you start looking at current practice listings, outline your vision, including:

  • Type of dentistry and services you want to offer
  • Ideal location, size, and profitability
  • If you prefer an entire practice or partnership

Clearly defining your vision is crucial to finding the right practice for your goals and personality. Outline details like your preferred type of dentistry, optimal location, profitability needs, and whether you want to buy an entire practice or join one.

Choosing the location and type of practice you love helps us narrow down practices that truly match your vision of a successful dental business, which prevents wasting time considering practices that don’t suit your style and professional objectives. 

In addition to defining your ideal practice, it’s good to assess your personal goals and financial abilities.

  • Clearly define your professional and personal goals for practice ownership
  • Consult financial advisors to review income, assets, liabilities, credit, and down payment funds
  • Calculate maximum affordable monthly loan payments based on your lifestyle
  • Get pre-qualified with multiple lenders to understand your financing options
  • Prioritize and address any outstanding financial obligations that may impact financing
  • Consider tapping retirement savings if your earning potential merits it
  • Ensure a practice purchase aligns with your overall investment portfolio strategy

With clear professional goals and a realistic view of your financial abilities, you can determine if the time is right for you to acquire a dental practice. This insight sets you up to search for and secure the ideal practice that matches your goals and financial resources.

Two: Pre-Qualify With Lenders

Pre-qualifying with potential lenders tells you what pricepoint you can afford and gives you the knowledge that you have funds to back up any offers you make. This allows you to negotiate from a position of power.

Here are the important steps you should take:

  • Research local banks, credit unions, and national dental lenders
  • Compile required documents like personal/practice tax returns, profit and loss statements
  • Calculate ideal loan amounts based on down payment funds and monthly budget
  • Interview lenders about rates, terms, fees, eligibility requirements
  • Submit loan applications and provide requested documentation
  • Evaluate and compare multiple pre-qualification offers
  • Address any credit or eligibility issues identified in the pre-qualification process

Take the time to get pre-approved for a purchase so you can focus on dental practices that match your financing abilities. This sets you up for a smooth acquisition process, from offer to closing.

Three: Find a Practice to Buy

Finding potential dental practices that match your acquisition goals requires persistence and creativity. Cast a wide net by networking with the local dental community and marketing yourself as a motivated buyer.

Some of the best practices are never advertised for sale, but you can sniff them out if you’re willing to put in the effort. Be proactive in your search to discover the best opportunities. Take an active role in looking for a dental practice for sale by:

  • Check industry publications for practices for sale that meet your criteria
  • Tap into your professional network for inside scoops on opportunities
  • Identify doctors nearing retirement who may want to transition their patient base
  • Search practice sales listings online.
  • Connect with brokers
  • Network with local dental professionals. Join study clubs and professional associations.
  • Send targeted mailers to dentists in desired geographic areas to inquire about selling
  • Attend dental conventions and seminars to meet dentists from other areas
  • Consider location preferences, practice type, size, services, and profitability
  • Research local demographics, competition, and demand for dental services
  • Evaluate visibility, signage, and facilities of potential practice sites
  • Drive by possible practice locations to assess curb appeal
  • Compare potential practices to your Perfect Practice Profile

By consistently networking, marketing yourself, and doing preliminary research, you can identify well-matched practices for further consideration. This expands your prospects beyond just what’s listed to find the right opportunity.

Four: Assemble Your Dream Team of Advisors

Have a trusted team of professionals in your corner. You’ll get invaluable guidance throughout the acquisition process. Here’s how you should go about assembling your dream team of advisors:

  • Identify key roles you need to fill with outside experts (attorney, accountant, banker, insurance agent, etc.)
  • Ask professional connections for advisor recommendations within your local area
  • Vet potential advisors’ experience, specialties, credentials, and fees
  • Schedule introductory meetings to evaluate fit and capabilities
  • Formally engage advisors and provide background documents to get up to speed
  • Designate point person to coordinate among the advisor team
  • Outline roles and expectations for guidance needed
  • Set regular meeting schedule for updates and collaboration
  • Be ready to provide timely information as the advisors request
  • Follow guidance from your hand-picked team with confidence

An experienced dental certified public accountant (dental CPA) analyzes the practice’s financials to identify any red flags and structure a deal to optimize taxes. A dental practice specialist will connect you with dental accountants they have successfully partnered with on previous deals.

A seasoned dental attorney ensures all contracts protect your interests during negotiations and closing. Specialists maintain relationships with attorneys well-versed in dental transactions to refer you to.

When you work with Dental Buyer Advocates, we can help you through all the important phases of buying a dental practice, including due diligence, valuation, and closing. You don’t have to do it alone—contact us today and schedule a strategy session.

Five: Submit the Letter of Intent and Start Negotiating

Now it’s time to negotiate firmly to protect your interests while still reaching a win-win deal. Your first offer starts with your objective valuation and due diligence findings, after which you write the letter of intent (LOI) detailing the major deal points.

The purchase agreement should outline finances, timelines, contingencies, and transition details that work for your goals. Be prepared to counter multiple times to reach a dental practice purchase agreement everyone is happy with.

Here are the key steps for submitting the letter of intent and starting negotiations when acquiring a dental practice:

  • Consult attorney to draft initial, non-binding LOI (learn about the next steps after writing the letter of intent)
  • Include proposed purchase terms like price, payment timeline, and contingencies
  • Outline expectations for transition period and seller responsibilities (we can advise you on effectively managing seller expectations)
  • Send letter of intent and discuss in person to address questions
  • Be prepared to explain your motivation for acquisition
  • Respond to any seller counters by adjusting terms
  • Leverage your advisors to strengthen your negotiating position and help you negotiate with stubborn brokers 
  • Aim to reach agreement on major deal points for LOI
  • Have attorney convert accepted LOI into more detailed purchase agreement
  • Continue negotiations to finalize all aspects of agreement
  • Conduct due diligence before transaction is legally binding
  • Declare any remaining deal-breakers to be resolved before closing
  • Build in precautions like indemnities and outs if needed
  • Engage advisors to ensure favorable, balanced outcome

We’re here for you through the negotiation process. We’ll help you understand where to be flexible and where to play hardball. You won’t be able to get everything you want out of a negotiation, but we’ll help you get an overall attractive deal—or walk away and live to fight another day.

Six: Leave No Stone Unturned During Due Diligence

Now it’s time to dive into the paperwork and financial details with a fine-tooth comb. The due diligence process ensures you get what you’re paying for and that the practice you are interested in is not tied up in any debts or other legal issues. 

  • Thoroughly comb through legal paperwork, office leases, insurance policies
  • Verify licensure status, credentials, and disciplinary history
  • Meet with staff to evaluate capabilities and morale
  • Inspect equipment condition and maintenance records
  • Perform financial due diligence by analyzing statements and tax returns
  • Perform in person due diligence by touring the office space and facilities

Comprehensive due diligence helps you thoroughly evaluate the dental practice seller and prevents unwelcome surprises from cropping up after the acquisition.

DBA will help you in the due diligence process, showing you what to look for and which red flags to avoid.

Seven: Take a Close Look at the Financial Statements

Obtain and scrutinize financial statements for critical insight into the practice’s profitability and financial health. Carefully examine the finances to make an informed offer backed by real data, which helps you prevent overpaying for the practice.

Here’s what to pay attention to when looking at financial statements:

  • Review last 3 years of income statements, balance sheets, tax returns
  • Verify accuracy and consistency of financials
  • Analyze revenue, expenses, profit margins, debt levels
  • Calculate goodwill and normalize seller discretionary earnings
  • Look for red flags like declining revenue or high accounts receivable
  • Use financials to inform valuation and price negotiations

As experienced dental CPAs, we can go over the financials with a fine tooth comb to surface any red flags. Let us help you scrub the financials to validate the asking price and ensure the dental practice of your dreams is a smart investment.

Eight: Conduct an Objective Dental Practice Valuation

Obtain an independent, objective valuation to ensure you don’t overpay for the practice. An accurate dental practice valuation also bolsters your negotiating position for financing. Never rely solely on the seller’s aspirational asking price.

There is no “correct number” for a dental practice’s value. Ultimately, the value is what the seller is willing to sell for and what a buyer is willing to pay. Our job is to make sure you don’t overpay and that you get the best practice for your money. 

You need to perform both qualitative and quantitative analysis on the practice to arrive at a sense of its value to you. Our in-depth financial auditing provides an accurate quantitative valuation. We’ll help you make sense of the qualitative factors, as well.

Here are some of the qualitative factors you need to look closely at:

  • Tax returns: review practice tax returns for at least the past 3 years to analyze revenue and expense trends. We identify opportunities to improve tax planning and minimize liability.
  • Profit and loss statements: evaluate monthly and annual financial reports to assess profitability. We pinpoint areas where costs can be reduced to improve margins.
  • Revenue: breakdown revenue by categories like crowns, fillings, dentures to calculate procedure mix. We find opportunities for growth by expanding services.
  • Dental supply costs: calculate supplies as a percentage of revenue. We analyze supply costs and can help you negotiate with vendors to reduce them.
  • Facility costs: review rent, lab costs, utilities, maintenance, and other occupancy costs. We can help you assess if a different location or layout could reduce these fixed costs.
  • Staff costs: assess total staff wages including payroll taxes and benefits and compare to revenue. We can help you optimize staffing plans and compensation to control costs.
  • Insurance: look at discounts given to payer networks and write-offs. We can analyze current insurance needs and advise you on negotiating improved contracted rates with major insurers.
  • Accounts receivable: evaluate receivables turnover, collections ratios, bad debt to minimize outstanding balances. We can help you improve systems and policies to increase collections.
  • Overhead: determine overhead costs for staffing, technology, etc and compare them to benchmarks. We can aid you in identifying redundant or unnecessary costs to cut.
  • Capital expenditures: review past and projected equipment purchases and facility investments. We can counsel you on equipment lifespan and future needs.
  • Depreciation: account for depreciation to determine true cash flow. We can explain depreciation schedules and how to use them for tax purposes.
  • Debt obligations: factor in outstanding business debt obligations and payment schedule. We can assist with debt refinancing or restructuring.
  • Working capital: evaluate liquid assets available to cover short-term obligations. We can help you improve capital through better collections, inventory management, etc.
  • Growth trends: look at historical revenue and patient growth patterns to project future potential. We can help identify new growth opportunities.

Beyond hard and fast numbers, you’ll need to look at quantitative factors as well. These are more “squishy,” but they still matter. You should be paying attention to:

  • Patient retention rates and loyalty: are active patients satisfied and sticking with the practice long-term? High retention indicates satisfied patients.
  • Reputation in the community: is the practice well known locally for quality care? A strong reputation retains and attracts patients.
  • Appearance of facility: is the office clean, updated, and welcoming? Curb appeal and office environment influence patient perception.
  • Staff morale and tenure: does the team seem happy, loyal, and work well together? Low turnover creates stability.
  • Leadership and management: are the dentist and office manager organized, engaged, and personable? Proper management maximizes profitability.
  • Dentist skills and credentials: does the dentist appear competent, experienced, and properly credentialed? An accomplished dentist delivers excellent care.
  • Quality of equipment: are tools, tech, and systems current and in good condition? Modern equipment enables high quality dentistry.
  • Patient amenities: are appropriate comforts like WiFi, refreshments, entertainment provided? Amenities create a positive experience, leading to low patient attrition.
  • Growth potential: does the location and demographics suggest ample opportunity to expand? Look for untapped potential.
  • Referral relationships: are nearby providers referring consistently? Strong bonds drive new patient flow.
  • Competitive landscape: is the practice competitively positioned in the market? Compare services, fees, reputation to nearby dental practices.
  • Insurance participation: is the practice partnered with major carriers? Contracted payers ensure patient affordability.
  • Branding: is the office identity clear, recognizable, and conveying the right image? Do they have an online presence? A brand that resonates attracts your target patients.

With an accurate fair market valuation in hand, you can make an initial offer anchored in real market value, not arbitrary figures. This prevents leaving money on the table or overpaying for the practice. 

For help valuing your potential purchase, let’s talk. We’re easy to work with, and we can save you a lot of headache.

Nine: Apply for Financing with Multiple Lenders

Apply to multiple lenders to increase your chances of financing approval, and give yourself enough information to compare loan options. Have multiple financing options to ensure you have the funding to close the deal under the best possible terms.

Here’s how you should approach applying for financing:

  • Gather required documents and financials
  • Decide whether to use a local or a national bank
  • Submit complete applications to banks, credit unions, dental lenders
  • Provide prompt follow-up information as needed
  • Get transparent quotes for rates, terms, fees, and costs
  • Compare loans from multiple lenders
  • Negotiate the most favorable loan terms across lenders
  • Maintain relationships even if not selected as primary lender

We’ll help you navigate the complex world of dental practice financing. Contact us to get started.

Ten: Vet Prospects Thoroughly with On-Site Visits

Once you’ve identified promising prospects on paper, go for an in-person visit ASAP. Tour the dental office to get a feel for the workspace and equipment, and meet the staff for insight into the culture.

Here’s what you should focus on with your on-site visit:

  • Tour the office space and facilities
  • Connect with the seller and see if your values are shared—you don’t want to take over a practice with a totally different approach, as that’s jarring to patients and staff
  • Meet with staff and get a feel for the patient base
  • Review equipment, technologies, and operations

This allows you to ensure that the practice truly aligns with your standards before moving forward. We’ll help you identify the pros, cons, and red flags of dental practices that you’re considering. 

Eleven: Evaluate the Staff and Create Job Descriptions

Evaluate existing staff and create clear job descriptions for smooth operations from day one. Take the time upfront to analyze and organize staff to set your practice up for engaged employees, satisfied patients, and effective systems.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Review all personnel files and contracts
  • Conduct interviews to assess skills and fit
  • Verify wages and benefits match market rates
  • Write job descriptions outlining duties and requirements
  • Determine staffing levels needed for each role
  • Make hires or changes to optimize team performance

With an understanding of each employee’s abilities and contributions, you can make adjustments to build a cohesive team focused on delivering excellent patient care. Invest effort in proper staff organization at the start to hit the ground running and establish your new dental practice as a premier provider of outstanding dental care.

Twelve: Review Patient Records, Production, and Procedures

Review patient records, production, and common procedures for more insight into practice profitability and growth opportunities. Thoroughly examine clinical data to identify what is working well and where there is room for improvement. This allows you to maintain your strengths and capitalize on growth opportunities.

You should:

  • Analyze patient age, gender, and location demographics
  • Review treatment plans
  • Recall systems
  • Assess types and volumes of procedures performed
  • Verify production and collection numbers by provider
  • Identify areas to increase treatment acceptance
  • Look for ways to expand services and patient base

Regular analysis of clinical data is key to making informed decisions that will improve practice performance. By becoming intimately familiar with the clinical operations early on, you position your new dental practice for lasting success.

Thirteen: Assess Referral Patterns and Your Competition

Assess referral patterns and local competition to build on relationships and differentiate your practice. Gain an in-depth understanding of referral networks and the competitive landscape to inform your transition plan and marketing strategy. This helps you retain existing patients while reaching new ones.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Identify key referral sources like specialists, MDs, other dentists
  • Contact references to verify satisfaction and loyalty
  • Research demographics and growth in surrounding area
  • Drive around to evaluate other dental offices
  • Analyze competitors’ services, fees, and marketing
  • Look for gaps or needs in the community that are not being met

An in-depth analysis of your market dynamics informs your competitive strategy. With insight into referral relationships and strengths relative to competitors, you can focus on nurturing existing referrals for continuity while tailoring your services and messaging to stand out in the market. 

Fourteen: Finalize Your Purchase Agreement with an Attorney

Finalize the purchase agreement with an experienced dental attorney for extra protection throughout the transaction. Have a qualified attorney guide the process to reduce liability exposure and ensure the terms match your intentions.

You should:

  • Find an attorney familiar with dental acquisitions
  • Review all contract terms related to price, closing, and contingencies
  • Ensure indemnities, representations and warranties are included
  • Negotiate seller responsibilities and timing of transition
  • Have attorney prepare documents and conduct review
  • Pay close attention to details as you sign final agreement

We guide you through the purchase agreement negotiations and help you protect your interests in the transaction. We’ll help you catch crucial details and avoid signing a disadvantageous deal. 

Fifteen: Thoroughly Vet all Contracts and Agreements

Review all contracts and agreements in depth to avoid undesirable terms. A diligent examination can even give you an opportunity to renegotiate more favorable pricing, and it creates a clean slate as you take over operations.

Here’s how you should go about vetting contracts and agreements:

  • Gather all vendor and supplier service agreements
  • Confirm no long-term auto-renewals or termination fees
  • Evaluate price, terms, and cancellation policies
  • Renegotiate contracts that are outdated or overpriced
  • Sign updated agreements to start fresh with vendors
  • Implement centralized contract tracking and renewal system

Sixteen: Create a Proper Entity Structure

Create the proper entity structure to optimize legal and tax benefits for your business. Establish the right structure from the start for more liability protection and tax advantages as your practice grows.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Consult advisors to determine appropriate structure
  • Choose type: corporation, LLC, partnership, etc.
  • Draft formation documents per state regulations
  • Designate ownership percentages if co-owned
  • Obtain federal EIN and state tax registration
  • Set up proper business banking accounts
  • Transfer practice assets to new entity

Start off on the right legal footing to prevent issues as your practice grows. A qualified dental attorney can ensure that your corporate structure and governance documents are set up correctly to protect your interests when acquiring a practice.

Seventeen: Address Permits, Licenses, and Other Corporate Documents

Address permits, licenses, and corporate documents to ensure legal compliance from day one. Properly document your new practice to avoid disruptive issues and demonstrate your validity as the new owner.

You should:

  • Apply for a business license and sales tax permits
  • Obtain occupancy and sidewalk permits, if needed
  • Transfer or apply for necessary medical licenses
  • Update licenses and certificates on walls
  • File formation documents like articles of incorporation
  • Create corporate binder with bylaws and minutes

Get legal documentation and permits in order from day one. Maintain organized records to prevent snafus down the road.

Eighteen: Complete Your Insurance and Benefits Paperwork

Complete insurance and benefits paperwork for essential protection for your company and employees. Take the time to get insurance set up to prevent gaps that could expose your practice legally or financially and ongoing reviews to verify adequate protection.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Set up health, dental, vision, disability benefits
  • Enroll staff in applicable plans or update info
  • Acquire business liability, malpractice coverage
  • Provide required documents for life insurance
  • Ensure proper policy limits and coverage
  • Have broker review periodically to update

Take the time upfront to get the right plans and policies in place. This allows you to focus on delivering excellent care with confidence that your company and staff are covered. 

Nineteen: Obtain All the Necessary Policies

Obtain necessary policies like liability, disability, and life insurance to protect your new practice from financial risks. Have adequate coverage to secure your business as you take over ownership.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Review existing policies to identify gaps in coverage
  • Research carriers and plans to optimize protection
  • Consider appropriate policy limits and features
  • Benchmark pricing to ensure fair premiums
  • Enroll staff in applicable plans or update info
  • Ensure proper documentation is provided

Adequate insurance coverage is essential to protect your new practice. The right insurance portfolio gives peace of mind that your practice and providers are fully protected.

Twenty: Complete Insurance Credentialing

Insurance credentialing gives you access to insured patients and payment from carriers. Complete credentialing before acquisition so you’re able to serve insured patients immediately and get reimbursed for their treatment.

You should:

  • Obtain provider numbers (NPI, DEA, Medicaid/Medicare)
  • Submit credentialing applications to insurers
  • Provide requested practice documents
  • Follow up on pending submissions
  • Verify inclusion in accurate plan networks
  • Maintain up-to-date credentialing once enrolled

Proper insurance credentialing prior to acquisition provides immediate access to insured patients. This allows you to serve insured patients on day one without reimbursement delays.

Twenty One: Develop a Transition Logistics Plan

You’re nearing the finish line! Come up with a thoughtful dental transition plan with the help of a professional to make sure you fully acquire the patients, employees, systems, and facilities.

Once you purchase the practice, it’s important to talk to a dental transition consultant who can help you transition your practice quickly and easily. A specialist that has experience in logistics and dental legal documents can help you:

  • Finalize closing contracts like practice sale agreement and lease assignments, as well as partnership agreements if applicable
  • File paperwork to transfer licenses, tax IDs, and domain names into your name
  • Plan training for staff on your preferences and implement updated systems
  • Develop a transition checklist
  • Gradually assume operations during the dental transition period
  • Set a target closing date once the practice is fully transferred

A thoughtful transition plan ensures you fully acquire everything needed to operate the practice successfully. Help from a dental acquisition specialist can facilitate vital legal and operational details for a smooth takeover. 

Twenty Two: Sign Legal and Banking Documents

Sign legal and banking documents to officially transfer accounts and assets to your ownership. Proper documentation provides legal protection and ensures a clean break between previous and current ownership.

Here’s what you should do when signing documents:

  • Review documents carefully before signing
  • Complete loan closing documents if financing
  • Submit signature cards for bank accounts
  • File bill of sale for equipment transfers
  • Sign over property leases or deeds
  • Transfer utilities and vendor accounts to new entity

We can help you navigate the extensive documentation involved. Our oversight reduces the risk of making commitments you later regret.

Twenty Three: Ensure Working Capital Is Accessible

Have sufficient working capital to cover both acquisition costs and operating expenses as you take over. This prevents cash flow issues and ensures you can cover any unforeseen expenses during the critical transition period.

You should:

  • Calculate capital needed and save up for a down payment, renovations, and transition costs
  • Confirm that financing funds are available
  • Set up business credit card with adequate limit
  • Negotiate payment plans on larger vendor purchases
  • Monitor first few months’ revenue and cash flow closely
  • Avoid large discretionary purchases until your practice has stabilized

Sufficient funds cover acquisition costs, renovations, operating expenses, and unforeseen costs that arise. With the right capital reserves and careful planning, you can financially support a successful transition while building a stable foundation for growth.

Twenty Four: Notify Patients and Staff of the Changes

Notifying patients and staff opens communication for a supportive transition. Being proactive with communication demonstrates your commitment to continuity of care during the ownership change.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Send letter to patients announcing new staff changes
  • Follow up with phone calls to established patients
  • Meet with staff to discuss acquisition and what to expect
  • Provide channels for questions and concerns
  • Highlight benefits of new ownership, such as new technology or new patient-centric policies
  • Convey appreciation for loyalty through transition

Thoughtful communication facilitates a smooth transition for all involved. Proactively announce the changes, meet with staff, and contact patients to directly convey your commitment to continuity of care. An open, transparent approach makes patients and staff feel valued throughout the ownership change.

Twenty Five: Implement a Marketing Plan

Implement a marketing plan that effectively spreads the word about your practice to attract new patients, as well as market to inactive patients. Promote the practice to establish your branding and generate excitement to drive new patient inflows.

Here’s what you should do when implementing a new plan:

  • Update all online listings and review sites
  • Launch updated website and social media pages
  • Send direct mailers announcing new ownership
  • Offer promotions like free exams to first-time patients
  • Schedule open house events to meet the dentist
  • Connect with community through sponsorships and networking

Create buzz and promote the new practice to get more new patients calling and scheduling right away. Proven marketing tactics can help attract new patients post-acquisition and continue growing your practice

Twenty Six: Train Staff on Roles, Systems, and Software

Train staff on roles, systems, and software to ensure a seamlessly functioning office. Invest in the staff upfront for an effective implementation of your vision to elevate the practice.

You should:

  • Define responsibilities for each team member
  • Review office operations, protocols, and best practices
  • Introduce new technology and provide hands-on learning
  • Monitor progress and hold refresher sessions as needed
  • Establish consistent processes for front and back office
  • Celebrate achievements to build confidence

Invest in comprehensive staff training to create a cohesive team equipped to achieve your vision. Clearly defined roles, optimized systems, and technology mastery give staff the tools to execute responsibilities seamlessly. 

Twenty Seven: Optimize Location and Facilities as Needed

Optimize the location and facilities to put your stamp on the practice. Create a welcoming environment and make a strong first impression on new and returning patients.

While each practice is different in terms of updates needed, here are some potential enhancements to consider:

  • Make cosmetic improvements like new paint and flooring
  • Update branding and signage with new logo
  • Renovate and reconfigure layout to improve flow
  • Purchase new furnishings and decor
  • Stock clinical and front office supplies
  • Enhance patient comforts like refreshments

These make a strong first impression and signal positive changes under your ownership. With a comfortable, inviting office space and clinical areas, you can deliver excellent patient experiences in facilities tailored to your vision.

Do You Need a Dental Practice Purchase Quarterback?

As you can see, acquiring an existing dental practice is not a simple process. From valuations and negotiations to due diligence and transition coordination, it requires moving many pieces. It takes a lot of specialized expertise to properly value a practice, negotiate a purchase, secure financing, and transition ownership.

Don’t do it alone—we can quarterback you through the entire acquisition journey. We help qualified dental professionals like you find and purchase the perfect practice to achieve your goals.

Contact us today to start planning your dental practice purchase! With our guidance, you can invest in an established, thriving practice with confidence. 

For more info on any specific aspect of the acquisition journey, click on the following headings.

Finding a Dental Practice to Buy

From using a dental practice broker to doing your own legwork, we cover the different ways you can find a practice to buy.

Valuing a Dental Practice Accurately

Dental practice valuation is tricky. There are a lot of factors to consider, some qualitative and some quantitative. 

Negotiating with the Seller

You need to have some good negotiation skills to craft a win-win that helps you and the seller each get what you want.

Performing Due Diligence

When performing your due diligence, there are some red flags and some green flags to consider. 

Securing Financing

We help you navigate the world of dental practice financing, from initial preparation through closing.

Closing on a Practice

Let’s look at any final closing tasks you need to handle when you finalize your dental practice ownership.

Transitioning Practice Management

Dental practice transitions need to be handled in the right way to minimize turbulence. You don’t want to alienate your existing patient base.

Understanding Practice Insurance

We cover the gamut of insurance issues, from credentialing to malpractice insurance and a whole lot more.

Tackling the Legal Side of Things

A guide to the legal issues involved in acquiring and maintaining a dental practice.

FAQ on Dental Practice Acquisition Checklists

How much does a dentist charge for customer acquisition?

It can cost around $300-$1,000 per person to acquire patients from selling dentists in a purchased dental practice, when factoring expenses for marketing, staff time, promotions, supplies, technology, and more. But quality retained patients earn that investment back through their lifetime value and referrals once the seller has already absorbed these customer acquisition costs.

How to do inventory for a dental clinic?

Conduct inventory for a dental clinic by systematically cataloging all supplies, equipment, and materials used in patient care. Start by categorizing items such as dental instruments, disposables, and office supplies, use inventory management software to track usage, set reorder points, and streamline restocking processes, and regularly update the inventory to ensure smooth clinic operations and avoid shortages.

How do you determine dental practice valuation?

Determine dental practice valuation by assessing factors such as financial performance, patient base, location, equipment, and goodwill. Seek professional guidance from dental CPAs or practice valuation experts, such as experts at Dental Buyer Advocates, to ensure an accurate and fair valuation.

What is the most common way to value a dental practice?

The most popular dental practice valuation method is using a multiple of annual earnings or discretionary earnings. This looks at the seller’s discretionary earnings (revenue minus salary and benefits) over the last 3 years. A multiple of 50-100% of this average annual discretionary earnings becomes the practice’s value.

What equipment is needed in dental practice?

Essential equipment in a dental practice includes diagnostic tools like X-ray machines, dental chairs, handpieces, sterilization equipment, and operatory lights. Additionally, digital technology like intraoral scanners and practice management software enhance efficiency.

What is a covenant-not-to-compete agreement?

A covenant-not-to-compete agreement is a legal contract often used in the sale of a dental practice. This type of contract restricts the seller from practicing dentistry within a specified geographic area for a certain duration after the sale.

It aims to protect the buyer’s investment by preventing the seller from competing directly and potentially drawing patients away from the newly acquired practice. The terms of the agreement should be carefully negotiated to strike a balance between the interests of both parties.

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